A final dividend of 5.23 pence per share is proposed for 2019 (2018 - 5.23 pence per share), payment of which, if approved, would total £21.7m (2018 final dividend - £21.7m) and would be paid on 29 May 2020 to shareholders on the register at close of business on 1 May 2020. This would deliver total dividends paid and proposed in respect of 2019 of 7.51 pence per share, an increase of 1.2% over 2018. At the level recommended, the full-year dividend would be covered 2.2 times (2018 - 2.2 times) by adjusted earnings per share. The cash outflow incurred during 2019 in respect of the final dividend for 2018 and the interim dividend for 2019 was £31.2m (2018 - £29.6m).
Other financial highlights include:
●Sales of £1,110.7m despite facing market challenges
●Adjusted profit before tax of £78.5m
●Adjusted earnings per share of 16.17p; year-on-year increase of 1%
●Strong free cash flow of £58.3m; net debt/EBITDA of 1.1x
●Leadership rating of "A-" for the Carbon Disclosure Project ("CDP") 2019
●Prune To Grow strategy delivered three disposals in 2019